Sciatica is a painful condition that begins in the lower back. The pain then shoots down into the legs and can also be felt in your feet. A herniated disk is often the cause of sciatica, but a bone spur can also play its part. The pain is caused when the bone spur or disk presses on your sciatic nerve. Many patients have intense, sharp pain along with weakness, numbness, and tingling in their legs.
People who suffer from sciatica often have physical therapy. This type of treatment can really help. This is because patients are often given exercises and stretching routines to do. These routines can improve their posture, so less pressure is applied to the sciatic nerve.
Please note, you should always follow your physical therapist’s advice carefully. Over-exerting yourself could result in even more pain.
If you visit a chiropractor, they will tell you what exercises can help and which exercises you should avoid. Please make sure you always listen to the advice of any health professional. They can help you reduce your pain and inflammation. Take it easy when you’re starting a new exercise routine to make sure you do not overdo it. If the pain starts to get worse, you should stop.
Medication can help with the pain and inflammation. One of the first types of medication you should choose is an anti-inflammatory medication. Other types of medication such as ibuprofen, aspirin, and naproxen can help. However, they should not be taken for long periods of time without you consulting your doctor first.
If over-the-counter medication does not work, your doctor has other options. Muscle relaxants can help, and these include amitriptyline and antidepressants. If you’re in a lot of pain, your doctor might even suggest that you have a steroid injection. However, these injections are not meant to be used in the long term.
Some people find that alternative therapies work well. Therapies such as massage, acupuncture, and yoga can prove beneficial. However, it would help if you always spoke to your doctor before you embark on any therapy. This is to make sure that you’re not going to do anything that could cause you even more pain.
Cold and Hot Packs
If you have ever placed a cold or a hot pack against your skin, you’ll know how it can help. The relief from the cold or heat can make a real difference. When it comes to treating sciatica, you might want to consider using cold and hot packs.
Start by applying a cold pack to your lower back for several minutes. Do this a few times a day. After the first few days, switch to using heat packs. Apply the heat pack to your lower back for several minutes. You should find that these packs make you feel more relaxed and you could be in less pain.
Sciatica is a particularly nasty condition, but there are some things you can do for your pain. Use some or all of the above methods to help you feel better. In all cases, please speak to your doctor so you know you’re getting the care you need.